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Ricki Kgositau-Kanza | Executive Director, AIDS Accountability International


Tshepo Ricki Kgositau-Kanza (she/her) has a background in International Relations with a speciality in International Human Rights Law and Diplomacy from Monash University. Ricki is currently the Executive Director of Accountability International whose work is to hold leaders accountable for human rights, international as well as continental human rights, policy, health and developmental commitments; as way to increase accountability towards marginalized communities. She is passionate about legal and policy reform within the region to advance socio-economic justice and accountability. She won a constitutional court case seeking legal gender recognition in the High Court of Botswana in 2017 and continues to use strategic impact litigation wins to make legislative and policy gains. Ricki is the former Director of Gender DynamiX and a stalwart in movement building; having co-founded the Southern Africa Trans Forum (SATF). The SATF is the first of its kind as a regional collective of trans focused and trans led NGOs advancing advocacy for inclusion, dignity and human rights of trans diverse and gender diverse Africans. She is also a 2016 Mandela~Washington Fellow under the flagship of the Obama administration’s YALI program (Young African Leaders Initiative); under which she did her residency with the University of California – Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy.

Ricki is a recipient of the African Feather of the Year and Role Model of the Year Awards in 2017 from the Thami Dish Foundation in South Africa, while in 2018 she made the inaugural #Awesome50 List of African LGBTIQA+ Activists, Personalities & Allies. She is a columnist for The Botswana Gazette with her weekly column “Queer I” which she uses to advance queer experiences and challenge prevailing narratives around and about queer persons. Ricki also gives of her time on the Board of Directors for other NGOs such as the Global Advocacy for Transgender Equality (GATE) and sits on the UNAIDS Global Reference Group on HIV & Human Rights. She is also a member of the Key Populations Prevention Advisory Group convened by the Global Black Gay Men Connect (GBGMC) and is a part of the Connexional LGBTI Task Team in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. She is in the process of registering her own social enterprise being the Ricki Kgositau Foundation in Botswana aimed at raising funds for trans diverse and gender diverse persons to access gender affirming surgeries to affirm themselves.